Using transparent polyurethane film and hydrocolloid dressings to prevent pressure ulcers

J Wound Care. 2015 Jun;24(6):268, 270-1, 273-5. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2015.24.6.268.


Objective: To compare the performance and effectiveness of a hydrocolloid dressing (HD) and a transparent polyurethane film (PF) in preventing pressure ulcer (PU) development.

Method: The study was conducted in the intensive care unit, coronary care unit and medical clinic of the Holy House of Mercy of Passos, Brazil. Data were collected 48 hours after admission and during hospitalisation. The Braden scale was used for PU risk assessment. Consecutive eligible patients without PUs were randomly assigned by lottery to the two groups, either the HD or PF group.

Results: Of the 160 eligible patients, significant between-group differences were found in the mean total number of dressing changes (HD, 6.09±1.655 changes; PF, 5.59±2.036 changes; p=0.010), and mean number of dressing changes in the sacral region (HD, 2.50±0.871; PF, 2.05±0.825; p=0.001), with the PF group requiring significantly fewer changes than the HD group. The most common reasons for changing dressings in both groups were moisture (PF 51.1%; HD 47.9%) and shear (HD 43%; PF 38.9%), with a significant difference in shear between groups. The incidence of PUs was significantly lower (p=0.038) in the PF group (8.7%) compared with that in the HD group (15%).

Conclusion: The results suggest that the transparent polyurethane film had a better performance and was more effective than the hydrocolloid dressing in preventing PU development.

Keywords: dressings; hydrocolloid dressing; occlusive dressings; pressure ulcer; pressure ulcer prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages, Hydrocolloid*
  • Brazil
  • Colloids / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occlusive Dressings*
  • Polyurethanes / therapeutic use*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Colloids
  • Polyurethanes